Somalia ready for battle: Coach Abdulle sets second round target in Cecafa ties


Every year, the Somali national team always emerges as one of the worst performers during the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The team has always been eliminated from the first round, losing out to their opponents by huge margins.

However, despite their many challenges created by a long drawn civil war that has hit the country in the last 20 years, Somalia has never missed honouring the regional tournament — reputed to be the oldest in the continent.

This year’s contest starts on Wednesday and coach Mohammed Abdulle says he hopes their long record of participation can inspire them towards a better performance this year.

The team was the first to arrive for this year’s event after jetting into the country on Saturday evening and held their first training session at Upper Hill High School on Sunday.

“Performance in any competition is also judged at two levels — results and discipline. I’m happy that while we have not been able to always get good results, we remain one of the few countries who take their responsibility to the regional tournament seriously.

“We have never missed participation in the last 50 years and we hope this year, we can have better results in Kenya. We are looking at perhaps a second round finish,” said the coach.

The coach however admitted it will not be an easy time for his side given the opponents they are pooled against.

“We cannot pretend that it will be easy. Our opponents are quite formidable. Tanzania for example beat us 7-0 last year while Burundi hammered us 5-0.